>Ed Wall wrote: > >> Did the same experiment. Two column proofs were prefered. > >Student preferences are often conditioned to follow the path of least >resistance, which is often the path of least learning. > >--Lou Talman
Thanks for this comment. I happen to agree up to a point. However, the comments I received were of the order that the two column proof seemed a bit more structured and, consequently (this is a opinion), a bit clearer.
The reason I have been trying flow proofs is because I felt they might be somewhat less threating (whatever that means :-)) than two column proofs and because they seem to lead more naturally to the type of proofs that might be written latter. I must to admit to having a bias: I don't use two column proofs. But perhaps that is a matter of style. In fact, in many of the areas that I do 'proofs' I tend to use a flow type approach which finally envolves into the paragrah form.
Do students learn less with the two column proof method? I really don't know. I feel that any effort made trying to get students to express their insight into a problem is quite worth while. On the other hand, they do need the experience of following and producing a logical argument. So perhaps flow proofs and two column proofs are complementary.
In any case, my response was to the preferences of students as I had somehow gained the impression that two column proofs were difficult and archaic and most students preferred something 'easy' and 'less challenging' like flow proofs :-).